26th Mar 2007, 13:36

2001 Forester L - Purchased used in Feb. 2007 with 53k miles.

Driver Side Rear Wheel bearing had to be replaced at a cost of $450. Now that I know what a bad wheel bearing sounds like, I can hear one (or more) of the others are going bad. I will approach Subaru and see what they will (or won't) do about it. I paid for one, I think they should pay for the next one.

Rear windshield washer sprayer does not work. Dealer said it already had one warranty repair for that back in 2002.

The OEM cd player forward/previous buttons do not work for the cd, you have to hit the scan button to go to the next track, forward only.

High wind noise, probably from the roof rack and high profile.

Bad cupholders in the front, cover the hvac controls.

Sometimes, at mid day, it turns over about 4-5 cycles before the engine starts, although it starts right up in the morning.

Throttle is jumpy in low range, just barely tapping it lunges the car forward.

Brakes are spongy.

Handles great, the power is nice. The design, style, and utility are excellent and unique. Drives like a sports car, and maybe as such is more repair prone than a Toyota, which apparently now owns a stake in Subaru, so hopefully the quality will improve.

Will keep you posted on the SOA response to my wheel bearings.

28th Jan 2008, 21:16

I own a '01 Forester L 2.5l 5spd. purchased 4/07 with 92k miles.

Used car Dealer replaced clutch/ pressure plate & throwout bearing prior to purchase. Never has been able to get the clutch right, even after 21K miles. Shudder, sponginess & sticking pedal until 4th trip back when they replaced the slave cylinder. They've paid for all & not charged us a cent, trying to get car "right". Car has 112K now. Back 2 more times, clutch has minor shudder, but also 'chirping' when pedal fully released (driving or idling). Not a pedal adj. issue, and noise goes away with little pressure on the pedal. (Can't really ride the clutch to keep quiet).

I believe that the clutch is a combination of aftermarket parts & a poor hydraulic clutch linkage system.

Like the car, (wish it had been built on the Legacy platform for rear seat room,) but nowhere near the quality of the '99 Legacy L w/2.2l 5spd. This car has been great since 79 miles. Replaced ORIGINAL clutch on this @ 185K. Still has ALL original wheel bearings intact. GREAT Car, keeping it long after the Forester.

Winter tires not an issue, as Legacy (both cars now) has had Bridgestone Blizzak winter tires on all 4 corners thru the winters here in NE Pennsylvania. (driven thru 4 new winter sets- 3 Blizzaks & 1 Artic Alpin {mistake purchase- Blizzaks FAR superior & quieter.})

19th Feb 2008, 10:31

2001 Subaru Forester L/5 speed manual; 99K miles:

This is my second Forester (my '98 was totaled after being T-boned on the driver's side by a car running a red light at 40 mph; I walked away), and I have to say the '01 feels a bit of a disappointment compared to my old '98 warhorse.

Since I bought the '01 with 41K miles in 2005, the clutch has always juddered as described in other comments; now it's finally failed so here we go for my first new clutch in 30 years of driving manual trans -- anyone got $700 I can borrow?!

Anyway, besides the clutch here's what is failing/has failed on my Forester L since reaching the magic 90K-mile mark:

- The catalytic converter.

- The rear brakes.

- The top portion of the fancy little automatic/night feature on the rearview mirror (it's now permanently stuck on "day").

- The clock.

- The CD player (factory, 6-disc changer).

- The side mirror defroster.

I've also replaced the front brakes, the tires (no surprise there) and had some work done on the transfer case, but can't remember the specifics; it was a while ago.

This is a nice car (much fancier than my old one; maybe that's why I expect better things from it?), and I'm a believer in AWD, but I miss my 1998. 236,000 miles of nothing, but regular maintenance and tires before it was wrecked... Guess I got spoiled. :- (

I'm not ready to give up on Subaru yet, given that I've had more than 300,000 pretty good Forester miles, but when it's time to shop again I sure hope their newer ones are better than their 01's!

11th Apr 2008, 00:21

2003 Forrester bought new. A great car for the first 80,000km then it basically fell to pieces with just basic city driving, no off road. Clutch replaced twice no warranty, but the shudder and chirping never went away. Both front wheel bearings collapsed. Constant oil leak that was never remedied. Paint started to delaminate - met a few other owners with that problem, the paint scratches very easily as it is paper thin. Drive train problems that gave endless lurching problems. All these problems seemed common to some extent to other owners I have met. The expensive constant repairs just aren't worth the other benefits of the car. Unless you are prepared to fork out for a major repair each year on top of expensive service costs I'd stay away from this vehicle.

31st Aug 2008, 18:54

I have a 2002 Forester Sport (manufactured in 2001). I bought it in 2005 at 90,000k. I spent big money, hoping to be done for years with the unreliability of a cheap car. The clutch had already been replaced at 66,000 K.

I'm on my third battery - no, I don't use the air/con, don't leave doors/lights on. Car dudded out in a rest stop in Alberta: 30+ degrees C. two dogs and an 88 year old in the car.

New starter motor.

Clutch went out with almost no warning on a holiday trip to northern Vancouver Island - stranded for days.

So, at 116,000K, I am on the third clutch. I can't tell you how disappointed I am in the famous Subaru brand...

Oh yeah, the clock went out - over $100. for a cheap little digital; compass says I'm always heading south...

I thought by spending money on a Subaru I'd save myself headaches.

I've driven less than 30,000K, have spent more than $3100., (not counting tune ups, oil changes, and $700. tires) to keep this car going. When it runs it's great, but it's just one more unreliable car.

21st Sep 2008, 21:24

I have a 2001 Subaru Forester S purchased new in 2001.

At 24,010 miles the tires had to be replaced. They were so bad they failed inspection.

At 27,996 miles check engine light came on... replaced air flow sensor... light went off.

At 43,483 brought car in for Subaru Recall... they added coolant conditioner to the car (Recall WWP99).

At 57,644 front driver's side CV joint replaced (boot was ripped) not a good idea to repack with grease and put new boot on... needed to replace the whole thing.

At 59,025 replaced battery.

At 61,222 replaced front passenger side CV joint.

At 67,025 replaced all four tires.

At 70,873 replaced right rear wheel bearing.

At 78,596 replaced right rear wheel bearing (yes... it needed to be replaced again - the noise it makes is unmistakable).

At 87,277 replaced the left rear wheel bearing and fixed a transmission leak.

At 92,469 the sunroof makes a loud noise opening and closing and got stuck once... Subaru dealer said it will cost $1600 to REPLACE (they cannot repair it)... I am not fixing this for now...

At 92,838 replaced catalytic converter (check engine light had come on after hearing a not-so-good noise come from the engine area).

At around 94,500 hear new noise coming from right rear... not a wheel bearing sound... more like a crunching sound... the noise occurs when making right hand turns when the car is just starting out (cold) after a few minutes, noise disappears. Had two mechanics look at it (Subaru and an independent shop) and they didn't hear the noise or see anything wrong... I guess I have to wait for whatever it is to get worse...Fun, Fun, Fun.

I did not include things like brakes, belts, etc. being replaced. I am taking excellent care of this car... always get the oil changed, maintenance done, etc.

Since I bought the car it has loud wind noise coming from the windows. Also have issue with gas cover getting slightly stuck... had it fixed once... but after a month it went back to being an issue.

I loved this car in the beginning, but now that I am almost at 95,000 miles (and with the new noise) I am worried that this car is starting to turn into the money pit.

When the car is working well, I love it... but I am worried about its reliability... once a month I do a round trip of 600 miles and I don't want to break down in the middle of it. Thinking about buying another car but hate to get into car payments... and I don't like anything available right now... except the Subaru Forester and Outback... but my mechanic said that the new Subarus are having electrical problems... I wish Subaru would make their cars as reliable as a Honda...

Right now I am hoping to get another 95,000 miles with minimal repairs out of my Forester... I hope that is not laughter I hear...

14th Jun 2009, 20:19

I have a 99 Forester S. Some similar problems as others have posted. The car drives fine when it's cold. But after it warms up two things happen:

1) Clutch becomes mushy, sometimes sticking to the floor.

2) Car shudders terribly when making any type of tight turn.